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Frederic Besnard: A Philosophy of Support

By Jackie Torok / 12/11/2019 Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Students, College of Health and Human Sciences

Frederic Besnard

Frederic Besnard made his way to North Carolina A&T State University from his native France in pursuit of a Ph.D. in philosophy, modeled after philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas, who focused on ontology – the study of being in general.

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing along the way allows him to practice this philosophy rather than just discussing it.

“When you recognize the divinity of the person, you are obliged to come to the rescue of the person,” Besnard said.

Besnard was married to a woman from Tryon while operating a cultural center in Brazil as an employee of the French government. After they divorced, he went to South Carolina, when he heard about A&T from a friend who studied nursing.

Besnard called the administrative office of N.C. A&T’s School of Nursing to learn more.

“They were so friendly and welcoming (that) the choice to attend A&T was easy to make,” he said.

Besnard enrolled in the Accelerated BSN option for those with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree after taking and passing the necessary prerequisite courses at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, North Carolina.

He studied on the Union Square Campus, a state-of-the-art facility, as part of a 24-member cohort that has “become like family,” said the father of two adult children. The sense of caring and commitment to excellence have been constants throughout his academic career at A&T.

“Everyone is very supportive and wants you to succeed. This is evident in every discipline, everywhere,” Besnard said. “I’ve always felt comfortable and always had access to my professors whenever I needed them. We have all worked together in that journey toward success.”

Upon graduation Dec. 14, Besnard will begin working at Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital as he seeks to enroll in the East Carolina University College of Nursing’s Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMH NP) program.

He also intends to complete his doctoral degree in philosophy through the University of Lisbon in Portugal and “write that book” about his experiences, he said.

“I will always remember North Carolina A&T as a place where students could be what they wanted to be,” Besnard said. “I’m just so thankful for the faculty and administrative team in the nursing programs at A&T. They’ve changed my life.”

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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